Communication is fundamental for creating significant relationships among human beings. The word communication has been derived from Latin word “communicare/communis’ that means to ‘share’ or ‘participate’. Communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information through written or spoken words, symbols or actions. Effective communication ensures whether the transmitted contents are received and understood by someone in the way they were intended.
Business Communication is a mode of communication used to promote a product, service, or organization – with the intent of making a sale. In business communication, message is passed on through different channels of communication including internet, print (publications), radio, television, outdoor, and word of mouth.
According to Fred Luthans: Business Communication means “The flow of material information, perceptions and understanding between various parts and members of an organization.”
According to Fotheringham, “Communication is a process involving the selection, production and transmission of signs in such a way as to help a receiver perceive a meaning similar to that in the mind of the communicator.”
According to Murphy, “Communication is the process of transmitting and receiving verbal and non-verbal messages.”
According to Murphy, Communication is the stimulus of every organization. Without effective communication, no organization can grow. Products are designed, made and sold keeping in mind its customers. People are hired, services are rendered, policies are made, and jobs are learned and performed to boost the sales of any organization. Communication has positive correlation with organizational outputs and is necessary for any business to thrive.
Although communication plays a vital role in every facet of business, it is especially important in today’s age of globalization when companies are expanding its off-shoots worldwide and has made communication more complicated within and outside organizations.
Types of languages in relation to Business communication
· Formal Language
· Informal Language
Formal language is used when we tend to business areas to construct and foster productive relationships. The business affairs can be termed as some of the follows:
1. Sending letters to different people on behalf of the company
2. Placing orders for different products.
3. Hiring people
4. Preparing reports both oral and written
5. Writing memos to other employees
6. Applying for jobs
All communication done in business affairs uses formal languages, we have to be vigilant while using formal language, as usage of wrong ideas can lead to collapse of the organization. Avoid using slang and improper or ambiguous words.
Informal language is used outside business areas such as private discussions, gathering with friends and family and sharing ideas. Informal language is casual and spontaneous and often used to get ideas across quickly; short form words are incorporated and are supported by understandable slang.
Figure 1: Basic Communication Model
Components of communication (Factors of communication / elements of communication or process of communication)
Every message whether oral or written, begins with context based on demographic, social, cultural, physical, organizational and other external and internal factors. What we communicate predominantly depends on the social environment we are in, some things considered as appropriate might be inappropriate to other cultures or organizations. While communicating we have to be vigilant of this fact as neglecting it may lead to misunderstanding or the whole idea may get rejected.
When we send a message we are the encoder, the writer, speaker or presenter depending on the situation and whether our message is oral or written. We try to choose such language and words that are easily identifiable and comprehensive to others. If we use the wrong language or the wrong words we might not get our ideas across let alone get a favorable response.
The message is the main idea we wish to communicate. It includes both verbal and non-verbal symbols. Our first task is to decide what our message is and what we are trying to convey. We try to focus on how our ideas will be decoded by the receiver will it be understood clearly or not. We have to consider the requirements of our message. Do we have to give any answers? Do we have to communicate any particular information? And do we need to get something done?
Medium is the way through which the message is transmitted; it can be the printed word, electronic mail or sound. The medium depends on the context factor discussed earlier. In other words we can say medium means whether we should speak or write and if we write in what manner or format. The written medium is preferred when the message is usually long, technical or formal in nature or should be documented. The oral medium is effective when the message is urgent or immediate feedback is required.
Receiver is the person who decodes or deciphers our message. Receiver is the one reading or listening to our message. A lot of messages have more than one receiver. We know that no two people think in the same way. So it depends a lot on our receiver how the message is decoded and it might also cause the message to be taken in a different meaning as it was originally meant.
In the end the receiver acts on the message received. Feedback may be oral or written; it may be a message or an action or simply silence. It can be either positive or negative; every message has a feedback or response. We cannot say that there was no response to our message even silence is a kind of feedback or response. Effective communication is where we get our required feedback or response. It is an informal channel of business communication.